Caledon, ON. – Not only did Sebastian Szirmak have to wait out an early morning frost delay to begin his round, but also to see if anyone could top him and the other clubhouse leaders during the afternoon flight. In the end, a playoff was required, and Szirmak outlasted Ben MacLean (a) and Keaton Veillette on the second playoff hole on Wednesday to earn a direct exemption into the 2023 RBC Canadian Open, June 6-11 at Oakdale Golf and Country Club in Toronto. Eric Yun (a) birdied the 18th hole during the afternoon flight to join the trio but was eliminated after the first hole of the playoff.
All four golfers recorded rounds of 67, good for 5-under. Szirmak recorded five birdies and a bogey free round. While some stuck around to see what their fate would be, Szirmak felt he shot a good number and left the course and let life distract him, “I just got back from Mexico and we’re moving back in and there was so much to do so as soon as I left, I called my girlfriend and she’s like hurry up, we need this, we need that so my brain completely left golf which I think was really beneficial because I wasn’t sitting their refreshing and seeing what guys were doing. I was just patiently waiting until 7:00 p.m. when I was going to leave downtown and come back here and see if there was a playoff or if someone got to six under,” he said.
“I went to Costco, I went to our Airbnb units, I took care of a few things, it was a lot more than I’m sure most guys would imagine I was doing for those six hours,” added Szirmak with a laugh.
Once the afternoon group concluded play it was time for the playoff and Szirmak and MacLean both found the fairway with their tee shots on the par 5 first hole. MacLean hit onto the green for a chance at eagle, while Szirmak’s third shot from a green side bunker came close to an eagle of his own, “Anytime I’m around a green I feel like I have a good chance to be aggressive, so it just lipped out and I thought oh man is that my Canadian Open gone, a lip out, but two more guys made birdie so we went to 18,” he said.
Szirmak and MacLean would again both have chances at eagle on the par 5, 18th hole. Szirmak hit a 5-iron for his second shot that hit the green, “We got up there and had about a 30-footer across the green, lagged it up to five feet and for some reason it was pitch black but I saw the line, I felt the line and looked up and it’s going in, so that was an awesome feeling for sure.” Szirmak made his birdie while MacLean came up just short of extending to a potential third playoff hole.
With the win, Szirmak earns a direct exemption into the RBC Canadian Open and will make his first appearance in the National Open Championship. This is a place where Szirmak has thought about getting to and he is excited to get his first opportunity to play with some of the world’s best, “I’m just really looking forward to it. I think I’m going to have my eyes out looking and just kind of soak in the moment, not because I don’t think I belong there just because I know the opportunity and it’s probably the only one I’ll play this year, so I will make the most of it.
“And of course, playing in Canada, I’m hoping there will be some love from the fans so I think that will be a lot of fun for sure,” added Szirmak.
TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley (North Course), played to Par 72 at 7,151 yards with a field of 142 golfers. Along with Szirmak’s exemption, an additional 31 golfers (remaining top 15% of the field) from Caledon have advanced to the RBC Canadian Open Final Qualifier scheduled for Sunday, June 4 at Coppinwood Golf Club in Goodwood, Ont.
RBC Canadian Open Second Ontario Regional Qualifier Results:
*Lost in playoff
|*T2||Keaton Veillette||Toronto, ON||-5||67|
|*T2||Ben MacLean (a)||Niagara Falls, ON||-5||67|
|*T2||Eric Yun (a)||Unionville, ON||-5||67|
|5||Austin Ryan||Kitchener, ON||-4||68|
|T6||James Skrypec||Guelph, ON||-3||69|
|T6||Phil Arci (a)||Woodbridge, ON||-3||69|
|T6||Brendan Seys||Port Lambton, ON||-3||69|
|T6||Noah Leduc (a)||Innisfil, ON||-3||69|
|T10||Ethan Irvine (a)||Ancaster, ON||-2||70|
|T10||Victor Ciesielski||Cambridge, ON||-2||70|
|T10||Ryan Sommerville (a)||Aurora, ON||-2||70|
|T10||Jordan Shanks||Toronto, ON||-2||70|
|T14||Branson Ferrier||Innisfil, ON||E||72|
|T14||Brad Kerfoot||Toronto, ON||E||72|
|T14||Jacob Lehman||Guelph, ON||E||72|
|T14||Johnny Choi||Toronto, ON||E||72|
|T14||Garrett Rank (a)||Elmira, ON||E||72|
|T14||Alek Mauro (a)||Windsor, ON||E||72|
|T14||Andrew Gwilliams (a)||Bradford, ON||E||72|
|T21||Zach Bankuti||St.Catharines, ON||+1||73|
|T21||Brendan Leonard||Cambridge, ON||+1||73|
|T21||Nic Ross||Brantford, ON||+1||73|
|T21||Aiden Deng||Peterborough, ON||+1||73|
|T21||Brian Hadley||Sarnia, ON||+1||73|
|T21||Nick Kenney||Etobicoke, ON||+1||73|
|T21||Kyle Brodhagen||Woodstock, ON||+1||73|
|T21||Michael Von Schalburg||King City, ON||+1||73|
|T21||Matthew Cupido||Hamilton, ON||+1||73|
|T21||Jack Deighan (a)||Cambridge, ON||+1||73|
|T21||John Foster||Concord, ON||+1||73|
|T21||Nicholas Mazze (a)||Caledon East, ON||+1||73|
There are two RBC Canadian Open Regional Qualifiers remaining on the schedule. The next qualifier is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24 at Golf Château Bromont in Bromont, Que. and on Monday, May 29 at Pinebrook Golf and Country Club in Calgary, Alb.
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